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How Does the Instagram Algorithm Work? [Guide to Win it Over]

Shafqat M. is presently Head of Content at Locate Translate UK.

How Does Instagram Algorithm Work [Instagram Algorithm 2021]

How Does Instagram Algorithm Work [Instagram Algorithm 2021]

Social Media Algorithms Work Differently on Different Platforms

Algorithms on different social networking sites have different functions to perform.

Like each networking site has a unique audience with set traits and behaviors, algorithms tailor their functionality accordingly. As a marketer, you can't master how Instagram algorithms work to run campaigns on Facebook.

Eric Butow, et al, authors of Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing shed further light on behavioral conformity each social networking site demands.

Per Eric Butow, social networks are like "social constructs" in the manner they function.

Let's quote Eric Butow, et al, directly about social platforms and social constructs:

Social networking websites are much like any other human social construct - each website requires different behaviors and has different expectations of its participants. Visiting each social network can be like being in a different country. People on Facebook will expect you to behave very differently from people on LinkedIn.

— Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

How Do Instagram Algorithms Work?

Instagram algorithms use many ranking signals while sorting and ranking posts for individual users.

How do Instagram algorithms work ...?

Algorithms on Instagram have a framework in place that enables it to consider how recent, relevant, and engaging a post is before ranking it.

The fact that Instagram algorithms don't follow the reverse-chronological feed methodology helps in understanding Instagram algorithms.

Understanding the Instagram algorithm can help increase your visibility on the platform. Here is Instagram explaining how its algorithms work.

Instagram’s technology uses different ways, or signals, to determine the order of posts in your feed. These signals are used to help determine how your feed is ordered and may include:

Likelihood you’ll be interested in the content.

Date the post was shared.

Previous interactions with the person posting.

— Instagram Help Center - Explaining How Does Instagram Algorithm Work

If the Instagram algorithm in 2021 finds that users are likely to engage with your content, only then will it show it to the end-user. So Instagram algorithm works by gauging the "likely to engage" aspect of posts before showing it to users.

Relevance, Recency, Resonance: A Recipe for Success on Instagram

From this, it becomes clear that the emphasis is on the relevance of the content.

To achieve success on Instagram, the first thing to do is focus on RELEVANCE.

The Instagram algorithm is so wired to give priority to the relevance of posts, not its reach.

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After all, if Instagram users aren't interested in your content because it's not relevant to them in any manner, the Instagram algorithm won't show any interest in it either.

Therefore, to win the social media marketing game on Instagram calls for the content created, either by you or an influencer, to be relevant to the target audience.

For success on Instagram, what your content also needs to possess is RECENCY.

The more recent a post, the greater its chances of ranking higher in users' feeds on Instagram.

The best way to maintain recency and freshness is to create a series of posts and sharing the same on an ongoing, continuous basis.

Apart from Relevance and Recency, what else you need to achieve success on Instagram is RESONANCE.

What measures the degree of resonance of your posts is the level of engagement it generates. Levels of engagement in terms of likes, comments, shares, re-shares, and of course, views.

In other words, how engaging your post is or what reactions it prompts, defines its (post's) resonance.

Instagram Marketing Key Points

EMV (Earned Media Value) isn't the right metric for measuring brand awareness.

What happens mostly is that marketers citing EMV metrics claim that their influencers' campaigns have boosted their brand awareness.

However, there are various other, more legit strategies to evaluate an influencer marketing campaign's success and measure its impactful-ness.

They include brand awareness, brand favorability, brand frequency, brand emotions, brand familiarity, brand preference, brand demand, last but not least, purchase consideration.

As a marketer, you should be able to sequester fake from real, bot from a human. Otherwise, far too many marketers fall into the deception of fake influencer reach, peddling posts to fake followers who happen to be bots, and employing various tricks to exaggerate their numbers.

In Conclusion

Instagram is more of a culture and glamour-driven platform. As a result, popular contents win it all and sweeps Instagram rankings.

However, that's not all!

Instagram algorithms care as much for popular as for relevant and engaging content.

Moreover, likes, comments, shares also work wonders with Instagram algorithms if your content manages to get plenty of those.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Shafqat M

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